Ellen's Design Challenge Season 2 Episode 3: Fine-a China

Ellen's Design Challenge Season 2 Episode 3: Fine-a China

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Tara Bellucci
Feb 1, 2016
(Image credit: HGTV)

It's the third challenge, and we're down two Personalities-with-capital-Ps—is one of these six remaining contestants going to step it up and provide crazy faces and/or biting commentary? Let's find out.

What's behind the curtain?? Is it Ellen? Nope, just dishes.

This week, the designers draw their inspiration from a literal wall of china. Not the Wall of China—but actual place settings. Their task? Design a dining table to complement their place setting. Since Sef won last week, he picks his pattern last and gets the option to use a Yankee Swap steal—but doesn't take it. I was hoping for a tug of war with plates that go flying, but hey, being a nice person is cool too I guess.

Kyle's carpenter Ali was eaten by a sea monster had to leave the show, but good news, Matt's back! Let's see how this goes, but I'm feeling it.

(Image credit: HGTV)

Melissa plans a table with a curvy metal inlay on top, fang legs on the bottom. Cliff reminds her to consider proportion. Because cloud bed was BIIIG and tire swing was small, maybe this will be just right?

(Image credit: HGTV)

Alexis takes her kid's art project plates and sees vacation house, so she plans a checkerboard effect with mahogany on the legs and whitewashed underneath. It's simple, but as Christiane says, all in the execution.

Vivian chose a very traditional looking china pattern and is translating that with a bleached tabletop with mitered corners. But since she has to weld something, there's some intricate curvy metal legs to go with it.

(Image credit: HGTV)

Sef plans a table that has a mirrored inset, that shows the carved damask pattern underneath, because reflection and symmetry or something. It takes Christiane a beat to get it, and I'm not quite sure I ever do.

(Image credit: HGTV)

Kyle proves that real men pick pink plates, and is echoing the pattern's dots on his tabletop with corresponding circles and metal rods.

(Image credit: HGTV)

Miles is the only one attempting a pedestal table, and it holds a surprise! There's an hexagonal tiered tray that rises up from the center. Christiane warns not to get bogged down in the mechanics, because three days.

(Image credit: HGTV)

It's the end of Day 1 and Sef has done some actual work (welding leg brackets), so he's feeling good.

(Image credit: HGTV)

Day 2 begins and sorry wood purists, but Alexis will paint her mahogany, so don't even try to talk her out of it okay?

(Image credit: HGTV)

Kyle's ash is a bit too hard, and it breaks a drill bit. That's a hard ash. Miles forges ahead with the tablelevator because it will set them apart, even if it's risky. Vivian's got complex legs and Matt is definitely worried they're not going to finish. Everybody is plasma cutting and CNCing (the machine, not C&C) and sweating and then Day 2 is over.

(Image credit: HGTV)

On Day 3, Alexis is basically thumb-twiddling since her design is so simple and they're already done, while Vivian has to do two-thirds of her project in just four hours. Melissa switches the position of her fang legs, now they look even more fang-y.

Miles attempts to hide the elevator cord inside the table, but it gets stuck! He MacGyvers it out, though there's no time to test whether or not it actually works because it's the end of the challenge and we're on to judging.

(Image credit: HGTV)

Guest judge this week is New York Magazine design editor Wendy Goodman. She's looking for an inviting table, or maybe a dinner invite.

First up is Kyle. Christiane calls it feminine, yet modern, and on-trend. Cliff says he's "warming" to the aesthetic but he says that like a kid who has to eat his broccoli in order to get ice cream. Wendy calls it inviting and beautiful. Overall, his best critique of the competition thus far.

Vivian keeps using the word classy to describe her plate and table, but the judges are split about its effectiveness. Wendy calls it sculptural, but in a way that says "look at me," instead of "sit." Christiane calls the top successful, but the legs feel like they're going to crawl off.

Miles makes his big reveal, and joy of joys, the tablevator works! Wendy calls it a masterpiece of harmony. Cliff wants to write him a check, and says he's set a crazy high bar for the rest of the designers.

Melissa's critique goes much like Vivian's, where the tabletop is deemed successful but the metal legs are a misstep. Wendy calls them comical, Christiane goes with aggressive.

Alexis describes her table as fit for an eat-in kitchen. Cliff says the china is lyrical, and the table is not. Alexis disagrees, of course. Wendy finds the whitewashed underside jarring, and Christiane wants Alexis to raise her game.

Sef tries explaining his table, but he might as well be speaking Mandarin until they go up and look at the mirror. Then the panel is drinking the reflected Kool-Aid. Kyle's incredulous, calling it a diaper. Thanks for bringing the Bradley-level shade, Kyle—so glad one of you came through for me!

(Image credit: HGTV)

Now onto final deliberations: Miles and Sef's wow-factor tables are in the top, while Alexis and Vivian underwhelmed this week.

Raise the roof (or in this case, table) because Miles takes the well-deserved win.

Unfortunately it's checkers for Alexis—her design was just too simple for the judges.

That's it for this week! Do you agree with the verdicts? Tell us in the comments!

We'll be live-tweeting the show along with the cast & judges every Monday at 9|8c. Follow us @apttherapy & join in using #EllenDesignOnHGTV. And check back after each show for our episode recap! Also, you can vote for your favorite designer at HGTV.
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